STRAIT OF MALACCA (Sept. 9, 2011) Officers from the Royal Malaysian Navy board the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) during a passing exercise (PASSEX). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Walter M. Wayman)

STRAIT OF MALACCA - Ships of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) took part in a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Malaysian Navy Sept. 9 while in transit through the Strait of Malacca.

During the exercise representatives from both navies conducted visit, board, search and seizure training, communication and ship handling drills, and deck landing qualification’s (DLQ’s).

“The focus of this exercise was to strengthen our friendship, and work as a team to accomplish a mission. Ensuring that if a situation would arise, we have the ability to communicate and get the job done,” said Capt. Thomas G. Halvorson, Commanding Officer of the Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53).

Sailors from Mobile Bay participated in a personnel exchange program with the Royal Malaysian Navy Patrol Ship KD Selangor (FFL176) and Frigate KD Lekiu (FF 30).

“When we accomplish something like the PASSEX, we strengthen our bond and friendships with foreign militaries. We also strengthen our ability to maintain maritime dominance and the ability to help our friends do the same,” said Halvorson.

Conducting this exercise with our partners from Malaysia is crucial in maintaining positive relations between our militaries and our countries, said Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Philip Farry, an exercise coordinator from Destroyer Squadron 21.

JCSCSG includes Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, USS Mobile Bay and Destroyer Squadron 21; guided missile destroyers USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).

JCSCSG is on a routine deployment to the U.S. 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibilities.